ZEC boss relocates to Namibia

HARARE - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe has relocated to Namibia to continue serving in that country’s Supreme Court as a judge.

Zec is an independent election management board responsible for all elections and referendum in the country. Some of its functions are to prepare, conduct and supervise elections for the office of the President, Senate, House of Assembly and local authorities.

Zec is also responsible for the delimiting of wards, constituencies boundaries, directing controlling, supervising the registration of voters, designing, printing and distributing ballot papers.

Mutambanengwe had been called by the coalition government in 2009 to work as the head of Zec and had resigned from the Namibia bench.

He is now working as a consultant in Namibia.

His deputy Joyce Kazembe has been appointed Zec’s acting chairperson.

Speaking to the Daily News, Kazembe confirmed Mutambanengwe’s departure.

“Justice Mutambanengwe is away in Namibia on some legal work,” said Kazembe.

Mutambanengwe was appointed chairperson of Zec in 2009, taking over from Justice George Chiweshe. He was appointed following the signing of the Global Political Agreement GPA, between Zanu PF and MDC which recommended the need for a new Zec board.

Prior to joining Zec, Mutambanengwe had been working as a Supreme Court judge in Namibia, after having worked in the High court of Zimbabwe in the 80’s.

Zec was established first by an Act of Parliament in 2004 and was reconstituted in 2009.

It started operating in early 2005 and the first major election it conducted was the March 2005 parliamentary elections.

However, it reconstituted in 2009, after Chiweshe’s tenure.

Chiweshe presided over a sham presidential election whose results took 45 days to be announced in 2008.

Mutambanengwe led Zec team comprises Joyce Kazembe with commissioners Theophilus Gambe, Bessie Nhandara, Geoff Feltoe, Sibongile Ndlovu, Mkhululi Nyathi and Pat Makoni.

Last week Kazembe in the absence of Mutambanengwe, led the Commissioners in holding a two-day workshop with Members of Parliament.

During the workshop, they discussed the Electoral Act and educated legislators on how to conduct themselves during the pre-electoral period, voting period and post electoral time.

Zimbabwe has five million registered voters that are expected to participate in the election and referendum to be held next year.

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